Grapevine March 12, 2020: The Seder must go on

Movers and shakers in Israeli society

CHILDREN TAKE part in a Passover Seder. (photo credit: ROK FAMILY SHUL)
CHILDREN TAKE part in a Passover Seder.
(photo credit: ROK FAMILY SHUL)
■ ALTHOUGH THERE have been a lot of cancellations of Purim parties and community Passover Seders, the Fuchsberg Center has invited people on its mailing list to a community Seder. For now, the Fuchsberg people, namely Moreshet Yisrael and the Conservative Yeshiva, are still adamant about holding the event to ensure that people who have not been invited by relatives, friends or even strangers, will have somewhere to go. The Seder, led by Rabbi Andrew Shapiro Katz with special programming for children, will take place at 7:45 p.m. on April 8 at the Agron Youth Hostel, 6 Gershon Agron St.). Contact [email protected] for further information.
■ IF THE Truman Conference on Peace and economics at the Hebrew University on Monday, March 16, goes ahead as scheduled, it will be one of the last public appearances as a politician by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. The main focus of the conference will be whether the plan of US President Donald Trump for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the deal of the century or the spin of the century. Other scheduled speakers include representatives of the UN, American diplomats and Israeli experts in security, finance and peace negotiations.
■ PROVIDING THAT he can get into Israel without being quarantined, Rabbi Manis Friedman, New York based rabbi, counselor, social philosopher, author, educator and public speaker will be in Israel on Monday, March 23 as the guest of Chabad of Rehavia, and will speak on Putting the WOW into your relationships and keeping it there. It’s the kind of topic that one might expect from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, but not necessarily from a Chabad rabbi. Then again, there’s no reason why any rabbi should refrain from discussing the subject. As usual, Chabad of Rehavia director Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg has managed to secure the premises of another synagogue, this time the Hanassi Synagogue at 24 Ussishkin Street (around the corner from Keren Kayemet). The doors open at 7 p.m. The lecture is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
■ SO FAR, cancellation of large-scale events in Israel extends to the end of April, so there is some comfort in the knowledge that Jerusalem Day will be properly celebrated in the evening of Thursday, May 21 and throughout the day on Friday, May 22. Daylight Savings Time will already be well in force by then, which means that Shabbat will come in at around 6:30 p.m. or even later, which indicates that if there is an all-clear sign from the Health Ministry, the traditional flag dances can take place. One gets the feeling that whether Ya'acov Litzman is still in office as health minister or whether the position will be returned to Yael German, the young people who take over the capital every year on Jerusalem Day will ignore the voice of authority and do their own thing.
■ AMONG THE films shown at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on International Women’s Day were several short films made by Bedouin women who live in unrecognized villages in the Negev, and whose history, lives and traditions are largely unknown to the Israeli public, even though the families of these women have lived for generations in the Negev.
The documentary project about the lives of Bedouin women was overseen by filmmaker Helen Yanowski, who gave the women video cameras, taught them how to use them, and showed them short documentary videos from different parts of the world. Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev boycotted the project and refused to make any funding available, something that Yanowski could not understand, given that the films were devoid of propaganda and simply documented episodes in the lives of Bedouin village women. What Yanowski overlooked was the fact that she has been closely associated with B’Tselem, a factor that would make Regev’s hackles rise.
On the same evening, the Jerusalem Cinematheque also paid tribute to its late founder Lia Van Leer by showing some of the films she would have loved. It is very important to keep the memory of Van Leer alive, not only because of her pioneering contribution to Israel’s film industry, but also for what she did for the international film industry. There was nothing like a Cinematheque in Israel before the advent of Van Leer and her late husband Wim Van Leer, who in addition to being a film buff, was a brilliant writer and frequently wrote feature articles that were published in The Jerusalem Post.